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UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies

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Unsimple Truths: How Biological Complexity Changes Our View Of Nature And Science

Start: Jun 10, 2014 7:00:00 PM
End: Jun 10, 2014 8:30:00 PM

Complex systems are built from simpler components: organisms from cells, cells from proteins, and proteins from amino acids. A common, and often successful scientific strategy is to explain a system by first explaining its parts in isolation. Is this always the best approach? Sandra D. Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh) will explore the ways complex systems in biology emerge from their parts, and the role that both historical contingency and dynamic adaptation play in reshaping our understanding of scientific explanation in the life sciences.

Start: Jun 16, 2014 5:30:00 PM

What role can social media play in science policy?  

Life As We Know It

Start: Jun 17, 2014 7:00:00 PM
End: Jun 17, 2014 8:30:00 PM

How much about our interaction with – and experience of – the world can be deduced from basic principles? This talk reviews recent attempts to understand the self-organised behaviour of embodied agents – like ourselves – as satisfying basic imperatives for sustained exchanges with the environment. Karl Friston will explain his belief that the minimisation of surprise is the driving force of the behaviour of living things.